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ARTICLE ID 191417

$________ – EMPLOYER’S LIABILITY – AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER IS ACCUSED OF CAUSING CRASH – TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY.

17th Judicial Circuit Court Broward County

In this matter, a pilot involved in a crash sued the company whose ATC he alleged caused him to crash. The matter was resolved via jury verdict after the defendant denied negligence on the part of its employee.

On November 10, ________, the plaintiff, Reynaldo L., was flying banners along the beach in a Piper Pawnee. He returned to the airport to drop off the banner at the designated northwest quadrant of the airport. There were two active north/south parallel runways: 36L and 36R. The air traffic controller gave the pilot an instruction to proceed downwind between the two parallel runways to land on the right runway. During the attempted landing, the aircraft crashed as the pilot performed the aerial maneuvers required of the instruction. The plaintiff survived, but with very serious traumatic brain injury and severe cognitive and neurological deficits. He is permanently disabled and needs constant assistance.

The plaintiff filed suit in the 17th Judicial Circuit Court for Broward County, seeking recovery on a negligence action from Robinson Aviation, Inc., employer of the air traffic controller. The plaintiff claimed that the instructions of the controller caused the crash. The defendant also named the plaintiff’s employer, but the jury did not assess any liability to the employer. At trial, the plaintiff asserted that the controller’s instructions were non-standard, not authorized by the FAA, and had caused the plane to stall and crash. The defendant air traffic controller denied this, blaming the crash on pilot error and/or mechanical problems.After a two week trial, a Broward County jury returned a $________ million plaintiff’s verdict. The jury found the air traffic controller 68% responsible and the pilot 32% responsible.

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